Good News, Julian Assange's Cat Is Safe
WikiLeaks has confirmed the cat owned by founder Julian Assange is safe after the Australian fugitive's arrest in London.
The feline had lived with Assange during his seven-year stay at the Ecuadorian embassy since May 2016, when she was gifted to him as a pet by his children.
In a tweet accompanied by a video of the animal sat in front of footage of Assange's arrest, WikiLeaks said: "We can confirm that Assange's cat is safe."
"Assange asked his lawyers to rescue him from embassy threats in mid-October. They will be reunited in freedom."
Assange's pet had become popular on social media in recent years, appearing dressed in a tie and collar in the window of the embassy in November 2016.
Assange received the cat when she was just 10 weeks old -- and when she made a cameo appearance during a live broadcast on the night of the EU referendum, he referred to her simply as "Embassy Cat".
Embassy Cat even has an unverified Twitter account with more than 30,000 followers.
Using the hashtags FreeAssange and NoExtradition, the WikiLeaks tweet also called for Assange not to be extradited to the U.S.
Meanwhile, 70 British MPs have urged the government to prioritise Assange's extradition to Sweden if prosecutors reopen an investigation of an alleged rape there.
Stella Creasy of the opposition Labour Party said the group wanted to "stand with victims of sexual violence" amid concerns the Swedish case could be sidelined as the Conservative government focuses on a US extradition request for Assange.
Creasy, who organised an open letter from the group, urged British ministers to be "champions of action to ensure Julian Assange faces Swedish authorities and is extradited there if they so request".
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told Sky News: "If there are allegations which Julian Assange needs to answer of sexual issues, sexual attacks that may or may not have taken place in Sweden, then it's a matter for the courts to decide.
"But I do think he should answer those questions.
"My objection was to his extradition to the United States because I do believe that WikiLeaks told us the truth about what was actually happening in Afghanistan and in Iraq."
The rape allegation came after Assange's visit to Sweden in 2010. He departed Sweden for Britain, and in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London after he lost a legal battle against extradition to Sweden amid fears he would be handed over to US authorities for WikiLeaks' publication of top secret US diplomatic cables.
Assange, an Australian, lived inside the embassy for seven years. But his relationship with his hosts became strained, and British police dragged the 47-year-old out of the building on Thursday after Quito revoked his asylum status.
Police initially charged Assange with breaching bail conditions linked to the Swedish extradition request.
The U.S. Justice Department said later on Thursday it had charged Assange for conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.
Swedish prosecutors dropped their investigation of the rape allegation in 2017. It has a limitation period which expires in August 2020.
Assange has always denied the allegation.
Featured image: AAP